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  1. #1

    Default Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    I don't know what took me so long to try Fleur du Male. I guess maybe this year I've done most of my fragrance shopping online, and focusing mostly on some of the older Creeds. I'd been curious about the new Gaultier, but never got around to confronting it face to face.

    The other night I went to Macys. I had a gift card that I wanted to use. I was going to try Fleur du Male, YSL L'Homme, and Diesel Fuel For Life. First off, the L'Homme truly IS awful. I'd read all the negative reviews and sometimes I like to be devil's advocate (when Rive Gauche was first released it got mostly awful reviews on here, and I bought it in spite of that and was one of the first to sing its praises). But man is this stuff ever boring and lame. One of the most unremarkable fragrances ever. It smells like some Perry Ellis crap. I still almost bought a bottle just because the bottle was cool. However the bottles for the Diesel and JPG were cool as well. I soon tried the Diesel and found it pretty boring. I'd heard there was a nice anise note, but I was completely underwhelmed by it.

    So I finally tried Fleur du Male. Weird. Not bad, but weird. Smelled like powdered milk a little. Kept sniffing it. OK, I can see the Kouros comparison. Starting to like it... OK I want it.

    Unfortunately I somehow managed to leave the gift card sitting on my piano at home. D'Oh.

    Something really struck me as I continued to sniff Fleur du Male. Let me take a brief detour. It reminded me of a scent I made earlier in the year. I'm kind of reluctant to talk much about about my DIY stuff on Basenotes because I'm a novice and I've got a lot to learn and I frankly nobody probably cares what I'm cooking up at home--though sometimes I end up with good results. However, this one scent I made was inspired by a Max Ernst collage from Une Semaine De Bonté-- one of the collages near the end, maybe the last one--where a woman is being swept up into the wind. When I see this picture, I can even imagine the sound of the wind as being filtered though a bit-crusher distortion effect. For some reason, this one picture really moves me and haunts me with its menacing grey tones. I wanted to create a scent that matched this visual and I did. I used alpha isomethyl ionone and violet leaf absolute to create the impression of "grey" and other materials to give the impression of "white". I set out in an exercise to make something as surreal as the collage and was pleased with the result. If I had to give one brief description, it would be "river of milk over a bed of gravel." I wear it sometimes on rainy days, but really I made it as something of an olfactory soundtrack to Une Semaine De Bonté-- something to put on my arm and sniff as I look through the book.

    So anyway, as I was standing there sniffing Fleur du Male, I was getting a similar feeling from it. The color white, yet not white as purity but white as a wave of surreal destruction. White like the marble of well-worn mausoleum stone. That must be what it shares with Kouros-- that danger of death lurking somewhere in the blinding light. I would also say that Fleur du Male smells like a river of milk, albeit reconstituted powdered milk. The bottle, name and packaging really complement the nature of this fragrance well. I smell Fleur du Male and I can't help but think of how much it captures a certain surreal aesthetic. I know the name Fleur du Male is a take on Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal"-- and I don't know anything about this poetry-- I haven't read it yet. Still, there's something very French, poetic and literary to me about Fleur du Male-- I think Gaultier really created a subversive stunner in this one. My only reservation is that the sweet coumarin base seems to rise up a little too quickly to steal the show from the strange and deadly topnotes.

    Today I bought a bottle. It's great stuff. Nice interplay between dirty and soapy. Very much a modern Kouros-- which is funny, because isn't a "kouros" really a Greek statue of a young man anyway?-- and that's what Fleur du Male's bottle looks like.

    What took me so long to discover this one!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Great review Indie.

    Yes I must agree with your comment, 'My only reservation is that the sweet coumarin base seems to rise up a little too quickly to steal the show from the strange and deadly topnotes' - I feel this way about most Gaultier fragrances. However the neroli/white flower/milk reference is quite true and honestly I 'see white' when I smell FdM too.

    Reading most of the blogosphere's year end lists, FdM appears on a few of them also - so it seems you're not the only one who is enjoying this new scent.

    Honestly I can't imagine owning a bottle of FdM because I find it a tad too similar to my cherished L'Occitane Neroli (the discontinued one). But if anyone on the boards is looking for a male white floral scent that's unique and different I would wholeheartedly point them in the direction of FdM.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 1st January 2008 at 05:40 PM.

  3. #3
    loungeboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    I really like Neroli frags and FdM is no exception...BUT it absolutely suffocates me. I wish it weren't so but my wheezing lungs tell the story. I hate when that happens....

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    I know the name Fleur du Male is a take on Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal"-- and I don't know anything about this poetry-- I haven't read it yet. Still, there's something very French, poetic and literary to me about Fleur du Male

    Today I bought a bottle. It's great stuff. Nice interplay between dirty and soapy. Very much a modern Kouros-- which is funny, because isn't a "kouros" really a Greek statue of a young man anyway?-- and that's what Fleur du Male's bottle looks like.

    What took me so long to discover this one!

    There is definetely some paradox, criticism of establishment, "insult" of public morals, aesthetics of ugliness, deep sensuality and courage to say what you feel in Fleur su male the same as in Baudelaire's works.
    I would reccomend to read not "Les Fleurs du Mal" but "Le Spleen de Paris / Petits Poémes en Prose". It's a small book. But it's amazing. I've found a lot of myself while reading these little pieces of beauty.

    I am gonna to buy Fleur du Male today. The first scent of 2008
    Last edited by DreamerII; 1st January 2008 at 08:51 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    i blind ordered it a while ago and literally never gave it a chance......then i put it on my skin and let it sit there....and honestly, for a "Macys" fragrance the results are amazing...
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Great review Indie ... Its on my sample list ... Naah >> Straight into the want list cheers .

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Good to see more people hopping aboard the Fleur Du Male train. Everyone keep in mind light application is key with this one.
    Last edited by knightowl; 1st January 2008 at 03:05 PM.
    Are you not entertained??? Is this not why you are here??

  8. #8

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Thanks Indie Guy, I really enjoyed reading your post. I also get the color white and think of white flowers, smelling it.
    I really liked it when it first came out, and I remember the negative reviews it got on Basenotes when it first was released.
    It's not a fragrance for the masses though, and a love it or hate it fragrance. When "Le male"was released for the first time,I also used to think that.
    Really suprising how that one ended up being a nr.1 fragrance for years all over Europe. (much to my regret, cause I hate it now)

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    I already mentioned: it's a beautiful blend, though for me not that of orange-blossom, but acacia, the finest one can find. Perhaps that's beacuse in Hungary there is no orange-tree whatsoever, whilest acacia can be found galore.
    But to my nose it's way-way too feminine. Which is obviously no problem for several other men.
    Peace for the new year.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Glad to see others who like this as well. It's very unique-- It's always depressing going to a department store like Macys and hoping they have at least one fragrance that veers off the beaten path. I'll take one "love it or hate it" fragrance over fifty safe "Light Blue for mens".

    I initially loved Le Male. I wore it for about two years and it was my secret weapon-- compliments galore. Plus, I really thought it was unique-- which it is, and even though it's getting popular I'll credit anybody who wears this for having better taste than those who wear Aqua di Gio. But somewhere along the way I just lost my enthusiasm for Le Male. Then Gaultier2 came out and I bought that-- very much a gender bender heavy on the sweets, but still had that Gaultier audacity which I enjoyed. I was surprised to see my little brother borrowing my G2 from time to time. Now that I have Fleur Du Male, I'm thrilled. With Fleur du Male, it's like somebody took the leaking flat tire that was Le Male and took it to the filling station, patched it and pumped it full of air. It's like the joy of rediscovering Le Male all over again.

    Also Fleur du Male doesn't strike me as floral unless I really think hard about it-- florals make me sneeze sometimes, and FdM doesn't hit my nose that way. Also, it's funny that people either perceive this one is either VERY masculine or VERY feminine... Personally, I think it's pretty masculine-- especially the parts of it that remind me of Kouros-- and I also get the tiniest bit of Joop out of it as well.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    When I wore it, the dirt note was overpowering. It smelled of orange blossoms yes, but orange blossoms from the perspective of a worm...in the ground.

    Maybe the bottle there was off or something? Is it really supposed to be so earthy? Even as earthy as it was, I was really digging it on a conceptual level, but just didn't find it all that pleasing to the nose until I scrubbed it a bit. Then the dirt note had taken it's more proper role in the background and I thoroughly enjoyed the scent.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    When I wore it, the dirt note was overpowering. It smelled of orange blossoms yes, but orange blossoms from the perspective of a worm...in the ground.

    Maybe the bottle there was off or something? Is it really supposed to be so earthy? Even as earthy as it was, I was really digging it on a conceptual level, but just didn't find it all that pleasing to the nose until I scrubbed it a bit. Then the dirt note had taken it's more proper role in the background and I thoroughly enjoyed the scent.
    The way orange blossoms are in high concentrations such as FdM, I generally get that green earthy note at first--I actually love that part. Then it mellows, and I catch those Le Male nuances, and finally it smooths out and the musk and coumarin becomes prominent and it seems to be all about sex at that point.

    I'd love to spray more on me, but anything more than 2 sprays of FdM can call too much attention IMO, especially when I wore it time and again in the summer--SILLAGE BUSTER!
    Last edited by iMaverick; 1st January 2008 at 11:35 PM.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    Also Fleur du Male doesn't strike me as floral unless I really think hard about it-- florals make me sneeze sometimes, and FdM doesn't hit my nose that way. Also, it's funny that people either perceive this one is either VERY masculine or VERY feminine... Personally, I think it's pretty masculine-- especially the parts of it that remind me of Kouros-- and I also get the tiniest bit of Joop out of it as well.
    I wore JOOP! today and it hit me all of a sudden...Fleur du Male. Of course JOOP! has that red sweets going on that FdM doesn't...but even my wife who isn't a frag junkie like me could easily sniff the difference. Quite interesting isn't it? I all of a sudden have a new foud love for JOOP! and FdM has a 'red' alternative. I love my hobby!!!!
    Keep Smelling Good
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    I wore FdM on one arm for most of the day, and it only reaffirms how much Id like a small bottle of this. Sexy!!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    awesome frag, I had a chance to sniff this when it first came out but haven't gotten a bottle yet, like you said: priorities priorities!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Me likie.

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    Latrelle: "What?"
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    One of my favourite scent. Everytime I'm wearing it, I'm getting compliments from girls. Unusual and sexy. Fantastic longevity.

  18. #18
    Shaheen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally got around to Fleur du Male...

    Damn, you just necro'd a thread that's 2.5 years old. That's got to be a record or something!

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